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'01 Mariners continue roll to Bracket 2 semis

@gregjohnsmlb
June 1, 2020

SEATTLE -- While the 2001 Mariners had a few big-name stars like Ichiro Suzuki and Edgar Martinez, it was the team's balance and depth that led to an MLB record-tying 116-win season. And that balance and depth continues playing a big role for the club's success in the simulated Dream

SEATTLE -- While the 2001 Mariners had a few big-name stars like Ichiro Suzuki and Edgar Martinez, it was the team's balance and depth that led to an MLB record-tying 116-win season. And that balance and depth continues playing a big role for the club's success in the simulated Dream Bracket 2 tournament as Seattle knocked off the 1942 Kansas City Monarchs in Monday's Elite Eight.

Led by the hot bat of Mark McLemore and a pair of victories by right-hander Aaron Sele, the Mariners beat the former Negro Leagues champions, 4-3, in the best-of-seven series and now move into Tuesday and Wednesday's semifinals of the 64-team bracket to face the 2004 World Series champion Red Sox.

The winner of the Mariners-Red Sox series advances to the championship series on Thursday and Friday against the survivor of the National League semifinal between the 1975 Reds and 1986 Mets.

Box scores and game summaries | Full bracket and info | Complete Dream Bracket 2 rosters

Both the '75 Reds and '86 Mets were World Series champions as well, meaning the '01 Mariners are the only team remaining in the Final Four that didn't win the title. Instead, that Seattle club was knocked out by the Yankees in the AL Championship Series.

But in the virtual tournament, the '01 Mariners have won four straight series, topping the 2015 World Series champion Royals, the 1988 AL champion Athletics, the 2011 AL champion Rangers and now the '42 Negro Leagues champion Monarchs.

The simulated competition, featuring many of the greatest teams in baseball history, is being produced by Out of the Park Baseball 21, MLB's most realistic strategy game (PC and Mac).

Here's how the series with the Monarchs played out:

Game 1: Mariners 7, Monarchs 3
Ichiro's two-run homer off Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige highlighted a four-run third inning and the Mariners rode another strong outing from Freddy Garcia to the opening victory in Seattle. Garcia allowed two runs over seven innings with nine strikeouts to improve to 5-0 in the tournament, with Kazuhiro Sasaki notching his seventh save. Mike Cameron went 2-for-4 with two doubles off Paige, including a two-RBI knock in the third. Carlos Guillen was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs.

Game 2: Monarchs 4, Mariners 1
Martinez staked Seattle to an early lead with an RBI single in the first, but the Monarchs jumped on Jamie Moyer with a trio of solo homers in the fourth by Hall of Famer Willard Brown, Joe Greene and Herb Souell. Bret Boone went 2-for-3 with a double, but the Mariners couldn't muster much damage as Hilton Smith -- the Monarchs' third Hall of Famer along with Paige and Brown – allowed just one run over six frames.

Game 3: Mariners 18, Monarchs 0
Boone and Cameron both homered and McLemore ripped a triple and double as the Mariners jumped all over five Monarchs pitchers in a 19-hit blowout as the series moved to Kansas City. Boone went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and scored four runs, while Cameron was 2-for-5 with four RBIs as he capped the onslaught with a three-run homer in the ninth. Guillen doubled twice and he joined Cameron with four RBIs, while Sele cruised to the victory while allowing four hits over 6 2/3 innings.

Game 4: Monarchs 7, Mariners 2
McLemore had another big day, going 3-for-4 with an RBI triple in Seattle's two-run first, but the rest of the game was all Monarchs as they evened the series at 2-2. Newt Allen and Greene each hit solo homers off Joel Pineiro, who took the loss while allowing three runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Game 5: Mariners 5, Monarchs 1
John Olerud delivered two-run singles in both the first and second innings as Seattle again jumped on Paige early and then used a strong performance from its bullpen to secure the win. Garcia allowed just one run, but was lifted after 4 2/3 innings after giving up five hits and three walks. Reliever Jose Paniagua was credited with the win as he combined with Ryan Franklin, Arthur Rhodes, Jeff Nelson and Sasaki to shut out Kansas City over the final 4 1/3 frames.

Game 6: Monarchs 1, Mariners 0
Smith beat Moyer again in a pitchers' duel as the Monarchs pushed the series to a seventh game thanks to a homer by Brown in the seventh. That was the only run Moyer allowed as he gave up just four hits with six strikeouts in seven innings, but Smith was even better as he held the Mariners to five hits over eight frames. Ichiro had two of Seattle's five hits on the day, but was stranded at third after a leadoff triple in the fourth.

Game 7: Mariners 9, Monarchs 1
The Mariners muscled up with a trio of home runs to win the series in front of their hometown fans. Cameron hit a two-run shot in the second, McLemore broke things open with a three-run blast in the fifth and Boone capped the night with a three-run pop in the eighth. Sele allowed three hits and one run over 5 1/3 innings to pick up his second win of the series.

Series summary
Manager Lou Piniella has been using McLemore in a third-base platoon with David Bell throughout the tournament and that proved fortuitous against the Monarchs and their all-right-handed rotation. McLemore started all seven games and hit .400 (12-for-30) with a homer, three triples and a double along with eight RBIs and eight runs scored. Cameron also drove in eight runs as he hit .261 (6-for-23) with two homers.

Boone homered twice while batting .321 (9-for-28) with four RBIs, while Ichiro hit .375 (12-for-32) and scored seven runs. Sele allowed just one run in 12 innings in earning his two victories and Seattle's bullpen loomed large with a 2.14 ERA (five runs in 21 innings).

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.